|Chronological Tour: Stop 178|
Entrance to Smokies Park, Aug-2011.
The seating bowl, as seen from left-center field.
The pleasant view for spectators during the game. Above the craggy hill used to be a campground.
The first thing I noticed (and this was in 2000) was the $3 parking fee. The second was the ticket prices, which were substantially higher than in most of the parks I’ve seen in this loop. The price of a stadium seat in 2000 was $8; that had crept up to $10 by 2011, which given minor league inflation wasn’t so bad (and the parking fee remained unchanged). Concession prices are high but not outrageous.
The park is built into a hillside. When the park opened in 2000, there was a KOA campground above it (meaning the lucky campers with spots up against the park had a free view of the game from right field). The campground was gone when I returned in 2011, as additional development meant the arrival of more standard lodging. The freeway exit is for Tennessee state highway 66, which leads to the heart of Sevierville and connects to the tourist attractions of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
Ballpark seats are all on one level, below the concourse, with the exception of the sky boxes, which cover the concourse and keep it, and a few rows of seats, in the shade. This was important for the noon game I saw in 2000.
In 2016, the name of the facility changed slightly. It became “Smokies Stadium”, reportedly because Internet searches for “Smokies Park” turned up references to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 25 miles to the south, rather than to the ballpark.
|417||Tue 1-Aug-2000||Southern||AA||TENNESSEE 2, Orlando 1|
|1144||Fri 12-Aug-2011||Southern||AA||TENNESSEE 5, Jacksonville 4|